City of Roses

February 7, 2012

My dear readers, I’m sorry to have abandoned you to the fate of unguided gluttony for so long.

The other day, while musing and munching, realization struck: it’s no mere coincidence that Portland is home to so much rose-flavored fare.  Portland is the City of Roses!  (I know, my powers of deduction are staggering.)

In honor of the lesser-known prize roses in Oregon, here is a list of PDX’s Best Vegan Rose Flavored Foods.  Unlike Buff Beauty and Cardinal de Richlieu, these roses taste as delectable as they smell.

Rose Flavored Fare with Flare

1. Pistachio Rosewater Mini-cake, Back to Eden Bakery

As I wrote in my Back to Eden post, this is my favorite cake of all time everywhere always.  Sometimes in mini-cake and sometimes in regular-cake form, but always vegan and gluten free, this cake has an incredibly delicate balance of uncommon flavors.

2. White Rose Kombucha, Townshends

Second only to Townshend’s Nutritonic kombucha, the white rose kombucha is floral and sweet but still has the kombucha kick to it.

3. Rose Collins, Portobello

For vegans, Portobello is as important a tourist destination as the Washington Park Rose Garden.  Lauren, the bartender, has carefully crafted infusions, tinctures, and juices to create some of the best cocktails and mocktails in Portland.  Continuing the rose theme, I got the Rose Collins*, made with rhubarb-infused gin and rosewater, with a single floating blueberry.

Photo from portobellopdx.com

*Apparently the Rose Collins is no longer on the drink menu, but they have a house infusion of white lavender rose tea gin!

4.  Rose Quartz, Central

Central is somewhat hidden, but it’s not too hard to find because it’s right around the corner from Voodoo Donuts.  While sitting at a table in the converted alleyway, I sipped the Rose Quartz, which had gin, bitters, and rose syrup.

5. Pistachio Rosewater Cookie, Back to Eden Bakery

You can’t go wrong with the pistachio/rosewater combo, and the cookie has its own appeal.  Back to Eden’s cookies have the perfect crunchy to chewy ratio, with crip edges and soft centers.  Plus, the cookie is slightly less sweet than the cake, making it easier to eat on a daily basis (& that’s my baked good time frame, let’s be real).

Photo from Back to Eden's blog, pistachio rosewater second from left.

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Townshends

July 27, 2011

Once again I find myself ensconced in my favorite plush olive-green chair at my new favorite cafe, Townshends on Alberta.

Townshends is a tea company featuring 84 kinds of hot and iced tea, as well as kombucha, boba, and elixirs.  They also have a small food menu, featuring two vegan pot pies from Stone Pie Joe’s for $3.95, and miso soup for $1.50 (although they’re perpetually out of soup).

Two things lure me back:

1. The kombucha.  Townshends brews & bottles their own kombucha, and their white rose flavor is the best I’ve ever had.  Makes me all tingly in the knees.

2. Between the wooden ceiling beams and the rich umber walls, it’s easy to relax.  No perching on a metal chair, feeling conspicuous against a barren backdrop.  Plus, they play my high school soundtrack – John Lennon, The Pixies, Iggy & the Stooges.